Troy State reaches students

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 20, 1999

in Hong Kong


Staff Writer

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Nov. 29, 1999 11 PM

Troy State University System’s first program for civilians abroad reached a milestone this month as the first graduates of TSU-Hong Kong received their diplomas.

Twenty-one students of the TSU-Hong Kong Professional Master of Business Administration program were conferred degrees during commencement exercises held Nov. 14, said Steve Knockemus, public affairs coordinator at Troy State. The Hong Kong program, which opened its doors in August 1998, is TSU’s first overseas program to serve a civilian only student body.

Hong Kong is a city in the People’s Republic of China, and about 7.5 million people live there.

The program is administered by University College, TSU’s administrative arm that oversees degree programs outside or Alabama and by the United Institute of International Education, Knockemus said.

Through University College, TSU operates 50 different programs in 12 states and five foreign countries, he said.

The bulk of the domestic programs have been located on U.S. military bases, while all of the overseas programs have been tied to military outposts until the establishment of the program in Hong Kong, said Rodney Cox, vice president of University College.

"The Hong Kong program represents a new approach for University College," Cox said. "With the decrease in the size of U.S. military this decade, University College had to change its mission to include civilians as well as the men and women of the armed forces.

"The Hong Kong program is the first with a civilian, business and industry focus."

Half of the courses in the Hong Kong program are led by faculty from Troy State’s Sorrell College of Business.

He described the Hong Kong program as a "revenue center" and said no Alabama taxpayers’ dollars were going to fund it.

Jack Hawkins Jr., chancellor of the Troy State University System, said that TSU’s newest graduates, most of whom are Chinese citizens, hold positions with a number of multinational corporations in Hong Kong.

"These graduates are now poised to become leaders with some of the world’s top companies, in one of the world’s preeminent centers of business and finance activity," Hawkins said. "It’s exciting to know that Troy State University is helping develop the leadership of such a premier, cosmopolitan city."

Cox added, "TSU is playing a key part worldwide in the opening up of the People’s Republic of China. We are influencing business people there because they will have American business education."

The program has gotten off to a successful start and is ready to grow, he said.

"This program puts Troy State on the international business map," Cox added.